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Contemporary verse by "Touchstone" in the Daily Mail . PowerPoint Presentation
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Contemporary verse by "Touchstone" in the Daily Mail . - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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slide5

VitaiLampadaTHERE'S a breathless hush in the Close to-night -Ten to make and the match to win - A bumping pitch and a blinding light, An hour to play and the last man in. And it's not for the sake of a ribboned coat, Or the selfish hope of a season's fame, But his Captain's hand on his shoulder smote "Play up! play up! and play the game!" The sand of the desert is sodden red, -Red with the wreck of a square that broke; -The Gatling's jammed and the colonel dead, And the regiment blind with dust and smoke. The river of death has brimmed his banks, And England's far, and Honour a name, But the voice of schoolboy rallies the ranks, "Play up! play up! and play the game!" This is the word that year by year While in her place the School is set Every one of her sons must hear, And none that hears it dare forget. This they all with a joyful mind Bear through life like a torch in flame, And falling fling to the host behind - "Play up! play up! and play the game!"

  • --Sir Henry Newboldt, 1898
slide7

Rupert Brooke, The Soldier (1914)If I should die, think only this of me: That there's some corner of a foreign field That is for ever England. There shall be In that rich earth a richer dust concealed; A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware, Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam, A body of England's, breathing English air, Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home. And think, this heart, all evil shed away,A pulse in the eternal mind, no less Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given; Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day; And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness, In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.

slide8

Contemporary verse by "Touchstone" in the Daily Mail.

On through the hail of slaughter,Where gallant comrades fall,Where blood is poured like water,They drive the trickling ball.The fear of death before them,Is but an empty name;True to the land that bore them,The SURREYS played the game.

slide16

In August 1914, Volunteers had to be: 5”8’ (battle of the Marne, Sept. 1914: 263,000 British and French Casualties)

By October: 5”5’ (30,000 casualties)

By November: 5”3’

Marne

Ypres 1

Ypres 2

Ypres 3

Paschendale

slide25

Disabled

He sat in a wheeled chair, waiting for dark,And shivered in his ghastly suit of grey,Legless, sewn short at elbow. Through the parkVoices of boys rang saddening like a hymn,Voices of play and pleasure after day,Till gathering sleep had mothered them from him.

                       *            *            *

About this time Town used to swing so gayWhen glow-lamps budded in the light blue trees,And girls glanced lovelier as the air grew dim, -In the old times, before he threw away his knees.Now he will never feel again how slimGirls' waists are, or how warm their subtle hands;All of them touch him like some queer disease.

                       *            *            *

There was an artist silly for his face,For it was younger than his youth, last year.Now, he is old; his back will never brace;He's lost his colour very far from here,Poured it down shell-holes till the veins ran dry,And half his lifetime lapsed in the hot raceAnd leap of purple spurted from his thigh.

                       *            *            *

One time he liked a blood-smear down his leg,After the matches, carried shoulder-high.It was after football, when he'd drunk a peg,He thought he'd better join. - He wonders why.Someone had said he'd look a god in kilts,That's why; and may be, too, to please his Meg;Aye, that was it, to please the giddy jiltsHe asked to join. He didn't have to beg;Smiling they wrote his lie; aged nineteen years.Germans he scarcely thought of; all their guilt,And Austria's, did not move him. And no fearsOf Fear came yet. He thought of jewelled hiltsFor daggers in plaid socks; of smart salutes;And care of arms; and leave; and pay arrears;Esprit de corps; and hints for young recruits.And soon, he was drafted out with drums and cheers.

                       *            *            *

Some cheered him home, but not as crowds cheer Goal.Only a solemn man who brought him fruitsThanked him; and then inquired about his soul.

                       *            *            *

Now, he will spend a few sick years in institutes,And do what things the rules consider wise,And take whatever pity they may dole.To-night he noticed how the women's eyesPassed from him to the strong men that were whole.How cold and late it is! Why don't they comeAnd put him into bed? Why don't they come?

slide26

Cultural ramifications, evidenced in art and literature

  • Wholesale cynicism of and disillusionment in “structures” of society: esp. gender, religion, government, class, art, even language and the body
    • (likewise a tightening of moral control, paves the way for fascisim)
slide28

TRENCH POETS

  • I knew a man, he was my chum,but he grew blacker every day,and would not brush the flies away,nor blanch however fierce the humof passing shells; I used to read,to rouse him, random things from Donne--
  • Like "Get with child a mandrake-root."But you can tell he was far gone,For he lay gaping, mackerel-eyed,and stiff, and senseless as a postEven when that old poet cried"I long to talk with some old lover's ghost.”
  • I tried the Elegies one day,but he, because he heard me say:"What needst thou have more covering than a man?"Grinned nastily, and so I knewThe worms had got his brains at last.There was one thing that I might doto starve the worms; I racked my headfor healthy things and quoted Maud.His grin got worse and I could seeHe sneered at passion's purity.He stank so badly, though we were great chumsI had to leave him; then rats ate his thumbs.
  • By: EdgellRickword
slide29

Cultural ramifications

  • Wholesale cynicism of and disillusionment in “structures” of society: esp. gender, religion, government, class, art, even language and the body
    • (likewise a tightening of moral control, paves the way for fascisim)
  • Heightened sense of the absurd and irony
  • Distrust/questioning of simple binaries (us v. them, battle front vs. home front, etc)
  • Romanticizing of youth, boyhood, innocence (often in homoerotic imagery)
  • Sense of dehumanization at the hands of modernity
  • Trauma of masculinity (compare with hysteria to put plight of women into perspective)
slide30

Cultural ramifications

  • Wholesale cynicism of and disillusionment in “structures” of society: esp. gender, religion, government, class, art, even language and the body
    • (likewise a tightening of moral control, paves the way for fascisim)
  • Heightened sense of the absurd and irony
  • Distrust/questioning of simple binaries (us v. them, battle front vs. home front, etc)
  • Romanticizing of youth, boyhood, innocence (often in homoerotic imagery)
  • Sense of dehumanization at the hands of modernity
  • Trauma of masculinity (compare with hysteria to put plight of women into perspective)
slide31

DulceEt Decorum Est: (It is sweet and decorous to die for one’s country}

  • Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,Till on the haunting flares we turned our backsAnd towards our distant rest began to trudge.Men marched asleep. Many had lost their bootsBut limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hootsOf disappointed shells that dropped behind.GAS! Gas! Quick, boys!-- An ecstasy of fumbling,Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;But someone still was yelling out and stumblingAnd floundering like a man in fire or lime.--Dim, through the misty panes and thick green lightAs under a green sea, I saw him drowning.In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.If in some smothering dreams you too could paceBehind the wagon that we flung him in,And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;If you could hear, at every jolt, the bloodCome gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cudOf vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,--My friend, you would not tell with such high zestTo children ardent for some desperate glory,The old Lie: Dulce et decorum estPro patria mori.